2020 is already being hailed as the 'year of the staycation' in line with rising pressure to reduce environmental damage by flying less. With this in mind, the British motoring association, the AA, have compiled a list of the top ten counties in the UK to visit as a family based on the number of family-friendly hotels in the region
Known for its impressive array of medieval churches, navigable rivers and man-made broads, Norfolk kicks off the top ten list with 11 family-friendly hotels. Norwich, with its cosmopolitan buzz and eclectic dining scene, is the jewel in the crown, while the surrounding countryside and distinctive coastline provide the ultimate family staycation.
Balancing traditional English culture with a stylish contemporary vibe, Cheshire comes in at ninth place with 12 family-friendly hotels. From the diverse buzz of Manchester to the rustic charm of the surrounding countryside, Cheshire presents a great option for adults and their kids.
Located on the east coast of the country, Suffolk is eighth on AA's list thanks to its 13 family-friendly hotels. Every nook and cranny of the region is steeped in history, from Bury St Edmunds to the well-preserved wool towns of the 15th century, making Suffolk a fascinating destination for a family staycation.
Occupying the south-west corner of the country, for many families the mention of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will conjure images of sticky ice creams, buckets and spades, and rolling waves crashing onto golden sand beaches - it is also seventh of the AA list of family-friendly hotels, with 14 in total.
Typical seaside towns define the county of Hampshire, featuring charming harbours and delectable quayside seafood restaurants, putting it sixth on AA's list. 15 family-friendly hotels offer a base from which families can explore the local area, brave a dip in the sea or enjoy discovering Britain's naval history over in Portsmouth.
Gloucestershire occupies fifth place in the list with its selection of 16 family-friendly hotels. The Cotswolds offers an abundance of quintessential chocolate-box villages, magical countryside trails and world-famous festivals, while Cheltenham is home to the annual racehorse event, attracting visitors from all over the country.
Showcasing glorious coastline, cities bubbling with charm and some of the most striking bucolic landscape in the country, North Yorkshire accommodates 18 family-friendly hotels in the AA's guide, coming in at joint third place with Cumbria. Picturesque, tranquil and laden in centuries of history, North Yorkshire is the ideal getaway for curious families.
Glistening lakes and rolling green hills with a backdrop made up of craggy peaks and dramatic skies are what springs to mind with the mention of Cumbria, home to the Lake District and 18 AA-rated family-friendly hotels, placing it third in the list. Once the inspiration to artists and writers such as Beatrix Potter, there is plenty for families in the Lakes.
Long considered the archetypal British holiday destination, Devon comes in at second with 25 family-friendly hotels according to AA's guide. With its bobbing boats, golden sandy beaches and delicious local ice cream to die for, not to mention its reputation as a surfer's paradise, it takes top spot in the south-west corner of the country.
With 26 family-friendly hotels, the UK capital comes out on top as 2020's top destination for those travelling with little ones. Be it the plethora of free museums, bountiful green spaces, iconic landmarks or food to satisfy even the fussiest of eaters, London is undoubtedly a magnificent city to visit as a family.